The best portable fans of 2024

You can stay cool without sacrificing outdoor fun with the best portable fans.

Best overall

Best Portable Fans

Milwaukee M18 Jobsite Fan

See It

Best handheld

The Handfan Misting fan is our pick for best portable misting fan.

HandFan Misting Fan

See It

Best budget

The Comlife Portable Neck Fan is our pick for the best wearable fan.

Comlife Portable Neck Fan

See It

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

The cooling breeze of a portable fan is a cheap and easy way to combat scorching temperatures. With the press of a button, you get an instant breeze—and sometimes a cooling mist—to keep the heat at bay. Best of all, they don’t rely on outlet power and are (mostly) small enough to transport in a purse, pocket, or backpack. Some are even made to attach to desks and strollers. The next time you leave the comfort of your AC, the best portable fans will ensure you stay cool.

How we chose the best portable fans

The temperature and humidity can get unbearable where I live, which makes doing anything outdoors uncomfortable. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to find the best portable fans to stay cool wherever I am.

Outside of my pursuit to keep cool, I write about gadgets and gear and have been doing so for over 10 years. My byline has appeared on sites like XDA Developers, Gear Patrol, and CNN Underscored. To find the best portable fans, I researched and tested everything I could get my hands on. I also looked at editorial reviews and customer feedback to give me an idea of what people value most in a portable fan.

PopSci has been writing about the best fans for years, so I also drew on previous knowledge and recommendations from colleagues.

The best portable fans: Reviews & Recommendations

To find the best portable fan, consider when and where you’ll be using it. Are you looking for something small to toss in your beach bag? Do you need something that stands on its own to cool you down at your desk? Or are you looking for a stroller fan that can cool your little one? Answering these questions will help you find the fan that fits your needs. We picked these fans for some of the most common scenarios where you need a light cooling breeze on the go.

Best overall: Milwaukee M18 Jobsite Fan

Cool Under Pressure

See It

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: Milwaukee’s M18 Jobsite Fan provides several hours of operation and a 120-degree adjustable head.


  • Height: 10.29 inches
  • Weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Battery-powered: Rechargeable


  • 120-degree adjustable head
  • Long-lasting battery
  • 18mph max air velocity


  • Expensive

Milwaukee is well known for making some of the best tools available, so it’s no surprise it also makes a great portable fan. Made of durable plastic and capable of circulating air over 40 feet, the cordless fan features a rechargeable battery that provides up to 17 hours of runtime on the lowest setting. If you’re on a job site or a camping trip, a single charge can keep you cool all day long.

In addition to a long-lasting battery, Milwaukee’s M18 features a 120-degree adjustable head with nine stopping positions, so you can angle it almost any way you like. It also offers three-speed settings, with the highest options capable of 18mph max velocity. And if the M18’s battery does run out, the fan comes with an AC adapter to keep the breeze flowing.

Want to up the refreshment even more? If you’re looking for an industrial misting fan that’s easily transportable, try out the RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Bucket Top Misting Fan Kit, which sits on top of a bucket (sold separately) filled with water—and ice, if you like—and provides hours of revitalizing fog. Combine either choice with a portable solar generator, and you’ve got reliable refreshment for days.

Best for neck: Jisulife Bladeless Neck Cooler

Best for neck

Jisulife Bladeless Neck Cooler

See It

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: This well-designed portable neck fan is lightweight and has three speeds to keep you cool on the go. 


  • Height: 7.8 inches
  • Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Battery-powered: Rechargeable


  • Lightweight
  • Lasts for up to 16 hours
  • Has three speeds
  • Available in five  colors


  • Wayward strands of hair may get caught

When it’s ridiculously hot outside, but you need to walk to the grocery store or want to go for a hike, a neck fan can provide welcome relief. The highly rated Jisulife Bladeless Neck Cooler is super easy to get started right from the box. Just connect the included USB-C cord and charge the included lithium-ion battery for up to 16 hours of use. 

This bladeless fan is lightweight and felt good around my neck. It’s designed with three speeds, and the steady air came both out and upward, providing a steady breeze to the underside of my face without blowing my hair all over the place. This portable fan is also reasonably quiet, though louder at Level 3, the highest speed.

It’s also worth noting that I originally had my hair up when I was testing the fan, and when I let it down, it did get a little caught in the fan. And while this Jisulife model is great for a walk or hike on a hot day, it’s not particularly suited for running if you bounce up and down a lot as you stride. But this fan is an affordable option to save energy and stay cool wherever you go. Plus, it comes in five colors (dark green, dark blue, gray, green, and yellow), making it almost as appealing a personalized accessory as a cool set of headphones. — Jen McCaffery

Best for large spaces: Big Ass Sidekick Portable Fan

Best industrial

Big Ass Sidekick Fan

See It

Why it made the cut: The 48-inch-wide Sidekick is powerful enough to cool large spaces, inside and out. 


  • Height: 58 inches 
  • Weight: 180 pounds
  • Battery-powered: No


  • Sleek design
  • Arrives assembled
  • Works indoors and outside


  • Expensive

Whether working on a construction site or in a barn, cooling a big space can be challenging, so you need a powerful fan. The Big Ass Sidekick Portable Fan is up for the job. This barrel fan is 48 inches wide, providing plenty of airflow from its six airfoils. The Sidekick comes fully assembled, and its swivel casters make it portable and lockable. With its IPX5 waterproof rating, you can roll this fan indoors or outside. And if you’re unhappy, there’s a warranty of up to three years. — Jen McCaffery

Best for stroller: Amacool Stroller Fan

Stroller Accessory

See It

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Amacool Stroller Fan is easy to use and features flexible tripod legs that can attach to almost anything, particularly strollers.


  • Height: 12 inches
  • Weight: 0.43 pounds
  • Battery-powered: Rechargeable


  • Flexible tripod legs
  • Also includes adjustable LED light
  • 360-degree adjustable head


  • Small battery means poor battery life

This stroller fan comes in three cute colors with a protective fan cover and flexible tripod legs that are easy for you to attach but hard for your baby to remove. It can easily adhere to the sides, tray, or hood of your stroller, as well as your little one’s car seat, playpen, or baby gym. The fan head is adjustable vertically and horizontally with 360 degrees of rotation. It even has three fan speeds so that you can customize the breeze your baby needs. The fan lasts between 2.5 and 10 hours, depending on wind speed, and can be easily recharged via USB. While this fan is safe for babies and toddlers, always make sure to have an adult on the lookout whenever it’s switched on.

Best handheld: HandFan Misting Fan

Tiny but Mighty Misty

See It

Why it made the cut: The HandFan Misting Fan gives you a breeze and a cool spritz of water for extra relief in your personal paradise.


  • Height: 8.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.41 pounds
  • Battery-powered: Rechargeable


  • Misting capabilities
  • Three speed options
  • Foldable design


  • One button design can be confusing

This rechargeable handheld misting fan from HandFan is one of the best ways to stay refreshed during a hot summer day. It can easily fit in a purse or backpack pocket, with a handle that can be adjusted from 0-180 degrees for handheld or standalone use. Choose from three different fan speeds to cool you down, no matter the weather. You can even trigger night mode, which includes a delightful array of colored lights. 

Best of all, the HandFan comes with a built-in mister and 17-millimeter water reservoir, which can produce a steady stream of gentle mist for 10 minutes at a time. All of these functions can be controlled with just one button for ultimate ease. This mini-fan weighs just 6.6 ounces and measures 4.1 by 8.9 inches, the perfect size to keep handy in your car, back pocket, or travel bag. Need something more industrial-strength to cool down a group? Check out our guide to the best outdoor misting fans.

Best for camping: Comlife 10000mAh Rechargeable Camping Fan

Great Outdoors

See It

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: With a battery that can last up to 28 hours and a lantern with three brightness levels, the Comlife Rechargeable Camping Fan is the perfect companion for the Great Outdoors.


  • Height: 8 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Battery-powered: Rechargeable


  • Featured 36 LED lights
  • Adjusts 360 degrees
  • Durable design
  • Battery can last up to 28 hours


  • No place to store remote

This Comlife camping fan is an excellent choice for anyone who likes to spend time outdoors. It features three fan speeds and a battery that can last up to 28 hours on slower speeds and a full seven hours at maximum speed. The lantern also has three brightness levels and three timer settings. You can even plug in your mobile phone or computer and use the fan’s USB-C port to charge your device. The unit itself can be charged via USB cable, power bank, car charger, laptop, and more. It comes with a flexible tripod that lets you easily attach it to a tent, bunkbed, golf cart, or even a growing system. At just 1 pound, this powerful fan will be easy to transport for on-the-go use.

Best for desk: Honeywell Turbo on the Go  

Compact Circulation

See It

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Honeywell Turbo is lightweight, provides a powerful breeze, and includes a convenient handle for carrying.


  • Height: 5 inches (12 inches with handle flipped open)
  • Weight: 0.49 pounds
  • Battery-powered: AA x 4


  • Lightweight
  • Handle doubles as a stand
  • Battery-powered and USB-powered


  • Needs four AA batteries

While the Turbo On the Go fan won’t replace traditional AC, it’s a fantastic way to stay cool during a hectic workday and a great small personal fan for a desk. It measures roughly 5 x 12 inches and weighs under 1 ounce, so you don’t need to worry about it taking up too much space or dragging you down if you’re on the move. This fan produces a breeze you can feel from up to three feet away with several set-up options, including standalone, hanging, or carrying. It can be powered with four AA batteries for outdoor use or via a USB-A cable, which can plug directly into your work computer.

Best budget: Comlife Portable Neck Fan  

Hands Free

See It

Why it made the cut: Comlife’s Portable Neck Fan can be worn like a necklace and also used on a desk.


  • Height: N/A
  • Weight: 0.43 pounds
  • Battery-powered: Rechargeable


  • Also USB-powered
  • Can be worn like a necklace
  • Two fans offer double the breeze


  • Can get in the way while worn

You shouldn’t have to pause all your favorite pastimes to dab sweat away or take a break in the shade. A wearable fan, like this one from Comlife, is a magnificent way to keep moving even when the heat rises. This double-headed small portable fan hangs comfortably on the neck and is 360-degree adjustable so you can stay cool without anything getting in your way. It features six fan speeds, battery life between two and nine hours depending on use, and an included USB cable for simple charging. This mini portable fan weighs just 0.4 pounds, so you won’t be under any strain while wearing it, even during exercise. From cooking to hiking, cycling to traveling, you’ll have no trouble keeping comfortable, even during a vigorous workout.

What to consider when buying the best portable fans

We look for the same things in a portable fan as in any other cooling device. Aside from strong airflow, a portable fan shouldn’t produce much noise. On the other hand, it should be durable enough to throw in a bag and easy to clean. Here’s everything to look out for in your search.

Size and weight

Portability is an essential part of a good personal handheld fan. When researching our picks, we paid special attention to things like size and weight. Portable fans come in all shapes and sizes, and different options work better for different situations. Before making your pick, you should take a moment to figure out how and where you plan to use your fan, whether you’re traveling, sitting at your desk, or working on an engine in your garage.

Remember that the bigger the fan, the stronger the airflow. A handheld pocket fan will only generate enough wind to cool down one person. There are also larger portable fans big enough to cool down a small space, like a tent. 


Portable fans use a couple of different battery types. Usually, they’ll either use built-in rechargeable batteries or require disposable cells, like AAs. Some models with built-in rechargeable batteries can also plug directly into the wall, so you can recharge the battery and use the fan simultaneously. Often, the whole point of a portable fan is to get away from outlets, but it’s still a nice perk.

A traditional battery is the most straightforward option. Just install a few AA batteries and feel the temperature drop. While single-use batteries are convenient, we generally avoid them whenever possible to minimize generating e-waste. (Of course, you always pop in some rechargeable batteries to sidestep the issue.)

A built-in rechargeable battery means you don’t need to buy batteries from the store. However, there’s always the risk of forgetting to recharge a rechargeable battery each night, which could render a portable fan useless.


No fan is competently silent, but nobody wants to use one that sounds like a buzzing insect. No matter what size portable fan you choose, you don’t want the whirring to be a distraction, especially if you’re using it as a travel fan. We focused on finding options with minimal noise, even on their highest setting. A quiet fan is particularly important if you plan to have it pointed at you from close range.


Keeping your fan clean is not only the sanitary thing to do, but it ensures everything works effectively and efficiently. A good fan should be relatively easy to disassemble (and reassemble) so that you can access the fan blades and remove dust and hair collected on moving parts.


For outdoor summer days, you can’t go wrong with a mini fan that can give you a cooling spritz. If you don’t want to miss out on enjoying beach trips, summer barbecues, or picnics, reach for a small, handheld fan you can easily slip into your bag or pocket—major bonus points for a model that has a small reservoir for water. With the push of a button, you’ll feel a steady spray that refreshes and cools.

There are also portable options you can wear around your neck. These portable fans sit comfortably around your neck so you can keep your hands on the steering wheel, tongs, walking stick, oar, etc. These battery-powered fans are a great way to get a breeze without taking a break from your favorite activities.

Finally, some options include flexible tripods that can attach to strollers and car seats, ensuring your little one stays cool on a warm day. Kids love to grasp and grab at just about everything, so make sure your stroller fan is sturdily attached yet adjustable, so you can angle airflow without worrying your baby will get a hold of the mini fan.


Q: How much does a portable fan cost?

Depending on its features and functions, a portable fan starts at $20 and goes into the hundreds. The most expensive portable fan on our list is around $120.

Q: Is there a fan that blows cold air?

Some fans blow colder air, but keep in mind that they can be a bit pricier than the portable models listed above. Unlike energy-efficient air conditioners that use freon, or regular fans that circulate the ambient air, cold-air fans need to use more advanced technology to create highly concentrated, controlled pressure and super-high speeds that actively cycle and slightly chill the air. Top-notch models like the Dyson Pure Hot Cool can do more to chill the air around you. If you want actively cooled air and live in the right climate, you might be interested in trying an evaporative cooler that cycles recently evaporated, chilled water from a reservoir to cool a room.

Q: What is the quietest portable fan for the bedroom?

There are several options out there for super-quiet fans you’re sure to sleep through, and many others include a sleep or night mode to quell sound or lights further. Honeywell, Vornado, and Lasko make small portable fans that are practically noiseless. It will be a bit more challenging to find a compact, pocket-portable fan that can provide the same options when it comes to quiet modes, but that shouldn’t be as much of an issue when you’re using them on the road.   

Q: How long do portable fan batteries last?

Battery life depends on a few factors, like fan size and what setting is used. If you use lower power, most portable fans will last for several hours. Crank it up to the highest setting, and the battery may only last a couple of hours.

Q: What type of portable fan is best for the beach?

Any fan designed for outdoor use would work well at the beach, as long as you’re not taking it into the water or burying it in sand. No portable fan will completely resist the elements, so it pays to be cautious when using electronics outside.

Final thoughts on the best portable fans

While the summer heat can undoubtedly feel oppressive at times, there’s no reason why you can’t grab one of the best portable fans out there to make things more bearable, especially if you know which factors to prioritize. If you want to stay especially active, go for a mini wearable or personal handheld model. If you need some extra chill indoors, a compact desk fan or lightweight tower fan will do the trick. And for special situations, look for a fan that proudly boasts its strengths, like stroller or camping fans. Beating the heat won’t be so hard with a great portable fan in hand.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.